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Cash Envelope Systems

June 4th, 2007 at 05:16 pm

We've always been good with credit cards, never having a balance that we haven't paid off in full the entire time we use them, but we also tend to eat out a bit more.

I started using a cash envelope system a few months ago and have saved about $200 a month that I can use towards school expenses or paying off debt.

We still use credit cards for gas, home repairs and other things that I don't find it convient for/don't want to keep cash around for and that we don't have any "wiggle room in."

I set up cash systems for the groceries. Combined with sales, coupons, stocking up, and cooking from scratch we are eating healthier and spending half the amount we used to. Once the money is gone, there's no more. We are on a budget of $160/month for two to three people (depends on the week). $40 a week buys meat, fish, beans, whole grains, fresh/frozen fruits and veggies and staples. I've learned with just a few things you can make A LOT of things. The OAMC concept on a smaller scale has helped.

I also have a cash system for entertainment/recreation which includes vacation money. Vacations are pretty cheap--- we go camping/hiking and sometimes backpacking.

I also have a cash system for personal spending money --- this is wonderful. I never feel guilty about spending money on myself anymore. I could never justify buying a CD or a treat like a hot chocolate or soft pretzel or even a new plant for the house. I always felt that money should just go to pay bills. Now that I have cash and it's for me to just do whatever I want -- it's this freedom and relief in the budget that I never had. It's not a lot, but there's this money that's just for ME and I don't need to justify spending it to myself.

So, cash had worked well. It also makes tracking a little easier -- with a few less reciepts to enter into Quicken. I could really enjoy this. Smile

How do you feel about cash spending? Do you only spend cash? Do you just use credit cards? Or do you do a combination like we do?

3 Responses to “Cash Envelope Systems”

  1. nance Says:

    The envelope system is great. It really keeps you thinking about what you spend money for, because as you said, "once it is gone, it is gone". The personal "allowance" envelope is a good idea, too. I don't do that, but I should. I, too, feel guilty spending on myself.

  2. carol Says:

    I applaud the envelope system.Congratulations to you for finding a system that works for you. Keep it up.

    I just started using it a few months ago and it is helping me focus on saving, spending and tracking my money better than ever. It gives me a feeling of control and peace knowing where the money is going. And kuddos for me. Just this month I have finally been able to break the triple digit mark.

    $107 saved may not seem like much for someone working with very limited funds each month, but I am proud of myself and feeling like I'm finally starting to get somewhere with my savings goal.

  3. Ima saver Says:

    I have always used the cash envelope system for everything for the past 42 years. I have an envelope for my charge card also, but I pay it in full each month. It is mostly for ordering things by catalog.

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